One of Russia’s most notorious Ponzi scheme founders in recent times, Finiko, has been detained in the United Arab Emirates, according to Russian media reports. A close associate of the crypto pyramid mastermind left the Russian Federation as the scam collapsed last summer.
UAE Authorities Investigate Russia’s Extradition Request for Top Member of Finiko
Zygmunt Zygmuntovich, founder and high-ranking representative of the largest Ponzi scheme in Russia since MMM in the 1990s, it has been taken in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Russian portal “Business Online” reported there. The arrest has been confirmed by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office.
According to the publication, a 24-year-old man, a German national, has been detained in a prison in the Gulf state since early September. Russian prosecutors told news outlets that they were informed of the arrest by the local Interpol bureau. Russia has filed an extradition request with the country’s Ministry of Justice which is currently being considered by the competent authorities in Abu Dhabi.
Zygmuntovich was placed on the international wanted list when Russian law enforcement launched a criminal investigation into a fraudulent investment scheme, along with Marat Sabirov and Edward Sabirov, two other associates of the founder of Finiko Kirill Doronin, who have been imprisoned since July 2021. people can leave Russia as a financial Pyramid crumbling.
Sabirov’s whereabouts are unknown at this time and the exact circumstances under which Zygmuntovich was arrested are also unclear. But knowledgeable sources told “Business Online” that the two former partners may have given information to the security forces about their whereabouts.
Accused in the criminal case are 22 other people, including the top promoter Finiko. Among them were two women, Lilia Nurieva and Dina Gabdullinaas well as Vice President Finiko and Doronin’s right hand, Ilgiz Shakirov, who was arrested in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan where the Ponzi scheme was based. Last November, mastermind Finiko offered to testify to his 44 accomplices.
According to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, members and executives of Finiko have attracted at least 5 billion rubles (more than $80 million) to the pyramid but the actual amount of losses is much higher. The money came from defrauded investors in Russia and some other countries in the former Soviet space, the countries of the European Union, Germany, Austria, and Hungary, the USA, and others.
Many victims are asked to send cryptocurrency to wallet addresses controlled by Finiko, a ghost entity. According to a report by blockchain forensics company Chainalysis, the pyramid received more than $1.5 billion worth of bitcoins between December 2019 and August 2021. Coins were transferred in 800,000 deposits by people lured by the promise of monthly returns of up to 30%.
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